The effort will be huge and the cost will be significant, but Armstrong's mayor is determined that work go ahead to stop further flooding in his city from Meighan Creek.
Water from the overflowing creek swept down city streets this past spring and into businesses and residences, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages and forcing the city to declare a state of emergency.
On Monday, representatives from Pioneer Square seniors' home told council of the massive effort undertaken to gut, clean and renovate after 3.5 feet of water poured into the basement of the facility on Willowdale Drive.
“We were told that only now are nine residents of Pioneer Square returning to their suites, six months (after the flooding),” said Mayor Chris Pieper. “It flooded the whole basement and wrecked everything that goes in a huge residential facility, including the mechanical room. It was a huge loss.”
Pieper said a number of houses in the area were also badly damaged.
City officials have already held initial meetings with the province as Armstrong pushes for a watershed assessment of both Meighan and Deep creeks.
It's a complicated case, Pieper admitted.
“You can't do reclamation work along 100 feet of a creek and then flood a neighbour down the way,” Pieper explained. “Meighan Creek goes into Deep Creek and you have to remember there was flooding all the way from Spall golf course to Armstrong. The whole valley was flooded.”
The mayor wants the assessment of both creeks completed in 2018 but needs the support of many government bodies pointing out that one or both creeks cross into land owned by the Crown, Okanagan Indian Band, Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Spallumcheen and Armstrong.
“We can't solve the problem on our own....This is a major effort (and) it's going to be a big cost.”